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Africa consists of 59 countries with a total land area of 30 million km² (twelve million square miles), representing 20% of the Earth’s habitable surface. Africa’s coastlines have a combined length of 41,184 km (25,596 miles). There are 1.39 billion people living in Africa — that’s 17.7% of the world’s population — and they account for around 2.8% of global economic output.

The straight borderlines in North Africa are striking and often look like they were drawn with a ruler over hundreds of kilometres. Until colonial times, there were hardly any fixed national borders. It was not until the late 19th century that the northern countries of Africa were divided up by Europeans according to purely political and economic criteria. Ethnic or geographical criteria rarely played a role here.

Algeria

Algeria

Presidential republic
Independent since 1962
Official: People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Local name: الجزائر al-Dschazā’ir
Region: Northern Africa
Area: 2,381,740 km²
Capital: Algiers

Egypt

Egypt

Presidential republic
Independent since 1922
Official: Arab Republic of Egypt
Local name: مصر Miṣr
Region: Northern Africa
Area: 1,001,450 km²
Capital: Cairo

Libya

Libya

Republic (transitional government after dictatorship)
Independent since 1951
Official: State of Libya
Local name: Libiya
Region: Northern Africa
Area: 1,759,540 km²
Capital: Tripoli

Morocco

Morocco

Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Independent since 1956
Official: Kingdom of Morocco
Local name: Al-Maghrib
Region: Northern Africa
Area: 446,550 km²
Capital: Rabat

South Sudan

South Sudan

Presidential republic
Independent since 2011
Official: Republic of South Sudan
Region: Northern Africa
Area: 644,330 km²
Capital: Juba

Sudan

Sudan

Presidential republic
Independent since 1956
Official: Republic of the Sudan
Local name: جمهورية السودان / As-Sūdān
Region: Northern Africa
Area: 1,879,358 km²
Capital: Khartoum

Tunisia

Tunisia

Parliamentary republic
Independent since 1956
Official: Republic of Tunisia
Local name: تونس / الجمهورية التونسية / Tūnisiyya
Region: Northern Africa
Area: 163,610 km²
Capital: Tunis

Western Sahara

Western Sahara

Republic
Local name: الصحراء الغربية / aṣ-Ṣaḥrāʾ al-Ġarbiyya
Region: Northern Africa
Area: 266,000 km²
Capital: El Aaiún

Botswana

Botswana

Parliamentary republic
Independent since 1966
Official: Republic of Botswana
Local name: Botswana
Region: Southern Africa
Area: 581,730 km²
Capital: Gaborone

Eswatini

Eswatini

Absolute monarchy
Independent since 1968
Official: Kingdom of Eswatini
Local name: Umbuso weSwatini
Region: Southern Africa
Area: 17,360 km²
Capital: Mbabane

Lesotho

Lesotho

Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Independent since 1966
Official: Kingdom of Lesotho
Local name: Lesotho
Region: Southern Africa
Area: 30,360 km²
Capital: Maseru

Namibia

Namibia

Presidential republic
Independent since 1990
Official: Republic of Namibia
Local name: Namibia
Region: Southern Africa
Area: 824,290 km²
Capital: Windhoek

South Africa

South Africa

Parliamentary republic
Independent since 1910
Official: Republic of South Africa
Local name: Suid-Afrika / South Africa / Sewula Afrika
Region: Southern Africa
Area: 1,219,090 km²
Capital: Pretoria

Benin

Benin

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of Benin
Local name: Bénin
Region: Western Africa
Area: 114,760 km²
Capital: Porto-Novo

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Local name: Burkina Faso
Region: Western Africa
Area: 274,220 km²
Capital: Ouagadougou

Cape Verde

Cape Verde

Parliamentary republic
Independent since 1975
Official: Republic of Cabo Verde
Local name: Cabo Verde 
Region: Western Africa
Area: 4,030 km²
Capital: Praia

Gambia

Gambia

Presidential republic
Independent since 1965
Official: Islamic Republic of the Gambia
Local name: The Gambia
Region: Western Africa
Area: 11,300 km²
Capital: Banjul

Ghana

Ghana

Presidential republic
Independent since 1957
Official: Republic of Ghana
Local name: Ghana
Region: Western Africa
Area: 238,540 km²
Capital: Accra

Guinea

Guinea

Presidential republic
Independent since 1958
Official: Republic of Guinea
Local name: La Guinée
Region: Western Africa
Area: 245,860 km²
Capital: Conakry

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau

Semi-presidential republic
Independent since 1974
Official: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Local name: Guiné-Bissau
Region: Western Africa
Area: 36,130 km²
Capital: Bissau

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
Local name: Côte d’Ivoire
Region: Western Africa
Area: 322,460 km²
Capital: Yamoussoukro

Liberia

Liberia

Presidential republic
Independent since 1847
Official: Republic of Liberia
Local name: Liberia
Region: Western Africa
Area: 111,370 km²
Capital: Monrovia

Mali

Mali

Semi-presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of Mali
Local name: Mali
Region: Western Africa
Area: 1,240,190 km²
Capital: Bamako

Mauritania

Mauritania

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Local name: Muritaniya/Mauritanie
Region: Western Africa
Area: 1,030,700 km²
Capital: Nouakchott

Niger

Niger

Semi-presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of the Niger
Local name: Niger
Region: Western Africa
Area: 1,267,000 km²
Capital: Niamey

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Parliamentary democracy (limited self-governing territory of the UK)
Local name: Saint Helena
Region: Western Africa
Area: 391 km²
Capital: Jamestown

Senegal

Senegal

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of Senegal
Local name: Sénégal / Sounougal
Region: Western Africa
Area: 196,710 km²
Capital: Dakar

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Presidential republic
Independent since 1961
Official: Republic of Sierra Leone
Local name: Sierra Leone
Region: Western Africa
Area: 72,300 km²
Capital: Freetown

Togo

Togo

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of Togo
Local name: Togo
Region: Western Africa
Area: 56,790 km²
Capital: Lomé

British Indian Ocean Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory

British overseas territory
Local name: British Indian Ocean Territory
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 63 km²

Burundi

Burundi

Presidential republic
Independent since 1962
Official: Republic of Burundi
Local name: Burundi / Uburundi
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 27,830 km²
Capital: Bujumbura

Comoros

Comoros

Federal presidential republic
Independent since 1975
Official: Union of the Comoros
Local name: القمر جزر / قمر / Comores
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 1,861 km²
Capital: Moroni

Djibouti

Djibouti

Semi-presidential republic
Independent since 1977
Official: Republic of Djibouti
Local name: جيبوتي / Dschībūtī / Djibouti / Jabuuti / Gab
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 23,200 km²
Capital: Djibouti

Eritrea

Eritrea

Presidential republic
Independent since 1993
Official: State of Eritrea
Local name: ኤርትራ Ertra / إرتريا Iritriyyā
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 117,600 km²
Capital: Asmara

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Federal parliamentary republic
Independent since 1000 b.c.
Official: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Local name: ኢትዮጵያ Ityop̣p̣əya
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 1,104,300 km²
Capital: Addis Ababa

Kenya

Kenya

Presidential republic
Independent since 1963
Official: Republic of Kenya
Local name: Kenya
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 580,370 km²
Capital: Nairobi

Madagascar

Madagascar

Semi-presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of Madagascar
Local name: Madagasikara/Madagascar
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 587,295 km²
Capital: Antananarivo

Malawi

Malawi

Presidential republic
Independent since 1964
Official: Republic of Malawi
Local name: Malawi
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 118,480 km²
Capital: Lilongwe

Mauritius

Mauritius

Parliamentary republic
Independent since 1968
Official: Republic of Mauritius
Local name: Maurice
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 2,040 km²
Capital: Port Louis

Mayotte

Mayotte

French overseas territory
Official: Department of Mayotte
Local name: Mayotte
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 374 km²
Capital: Mamoudzou

Mozambique

Mozambique

Presidential republic
Independent since 1975
Official: Republic of Mozambique
Local name: Moçambique
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 786,380 km²
Capital: Maputo

Reunion

Reunion

French overseas territory
Local name: Réunion
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 2,512 km²
Capital: Saint-Denis

Rwanda

Rwanda

Presidential republic
Independent since 1962
Official: Republic of Rwanda
Local name: Rwanda / Urwanda
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 26,340 km²
Capital: Kigali

Seychelles

Seychelles

Presidential republic
Independent since 1976
Official: Republic of Seychelles
Local name: Sese l /Seychelles
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 460 km²
Capital: Victoria

Somalia

Somalia

Federal parliamentary republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Federal Republic of Somalia
Local name: Soomaaliya / Somalia / الصومال
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 637,660 km²
Capital: Mogadishu

Tanzania

Tanzania

Presidential republic
Independent since 1961
Official: United Republic of Tanzania

Local name: Tanzania
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 947,300 km²
Capital: Dodoma

 
 

Uganda

Uganda

Presidential republic
Independent since 1962
Official: Republic of Uganda
Local name: Uganda
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 241,550 km²
Capital: Kampala

Zambia

Zambia

Presidential republic
Independent since 1964
Official: Republic of Zambia
Local name: Zambia
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 752,610 km²
Capital: Lusaka

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Semi-presidential republic
Independent since 1980
Official: Republic of Zimbabwe
Local name: Zimbabwe
Region: Eastern Africa
Area: 390,760 km²
Capital: Harare

Angola

Angola

Presidential republic
Independent since 1975
Official: Republic of Angola
Local name: Ngola
Region: Central Africa
Area: 1,246,700 km²
Capital: Luanda

Cameroon

Cameroon

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of Cameroon
Local name: Cameroun / Cameroon
Region: Central Africa
Area: 475,440 km²
Capital: Yaounde

Central African Republic

Central African Republic

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Local name: Centrafrique / Bê-Afrîka
Region: Central Africa
Area:  622,980 km²
Capital: Bangui

Chad

Chad

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Republic of Chad
Local name: جمهوريّة تشاد / Tchad
Region: Central Africa
Area: 1,284,000 km²
Capital: N’Djamena

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Semi-presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Local name:
République Démocratique du Congo
Region:
Central Africa
Area:
2,344,860 km²
Capital:
Kinshasa

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea

Presidential republic
Independent since 1968
Official: Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Local name: Guinea Ecuatorial
Region: Central Africa
Area: 28,050 km²
Capital: Malabo

Gabon

Gabon

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Official: Gabonese Republic
Local name: Le Gabon
Region: Central Africa
Area: 267,670 km²
Capital: Libreville

Republic of the Congo

Republic of the Congo

Presidential republic
Independent since 1960
Local name: Congo
Region: Central Africa
Area: 342,000 km²
Capital: Brazzaville

Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe

Semi-presidential republic
Independent since 1975
Official: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
Local name: São Tomé e Príncipe
Region: Central Africa
Area: 960 km²
Capital: São Tomé

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